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Glossary of Terms

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Adapter: A hardware device or software component used to make separate pieces of equipment compatible.

A set of steps or procedures used to solve a specific problem. Algorithms are used in computer science to calculate and process data. In hard disk drive sanitization, algorithms include one-pass wipe, a three-pass wipe with verify, or seven-pass wipe as recommended by the Department of Defense.

Asynchronous Duplication (also called Asynchronous Replication):
The process of writing data to primary storage then duplicating the data to target memory or a disc-based storage. In asynchronous duplication, the process runs independently of other processes.

Automatic start/stop (shredders):
A safety feature on some shredders where the motor automatically starts or stops during operation. For instance, a paper jam would automatically stop the motor from running.

Bin (Shredder):
A basket or other container attached to a shredder where destroyed materials are stored for later disposal.


Bootable Flash Drive: A USB flash drive that that stores a computer operating system (i.e., Windows, Linux, etc.) and allows you to boot your computer from the device.

Boot sector:
A section of computer hard disk drive other data storage device that contains code to initiate the boot process. HDD cloning typically performs a sector-by-sector copy, including partition and boot sector information, from a single source hard disk to target drives.

Buffer Memory:
The physical space on a computer hard drive that stores data while it is being transferred from one area to another.

Blu-Ray Disc:
A digital optical disc data storage format capable of storing high-definition video. Blu-Ray Discs can store a greater density of data than DVD discs.

Refers to the amount of memory a storage device, such as a hard disk drive or flash drive, is capable of holding.

Abbreviation for Consumer Electronics.

Certified Sanitization:
An accreditation given by an outside source to hard disk drive sanitizers. Certified Sanitation verifies that all data from the hard drive has been completely erased and are forensically

CFast Card:
Also known as CF-SATA, a CFast card is a compact flash storage device that uses Serial ATA technology for high speed processing.

In computing, cloning refers to copying the entire contents of a hard drive (including files, partition tables, master boot record files, etc.) to one or more computer hard drives.

A verification function common in hard disc drive duplication that checks if the copies match the originals.

Compact Disc (CD):
A digital optical disc data storage format originally developed to store and play back sound recordings. CDs have been adapted for storage of data (CD-ROM) with multiple formats that include write-once audio and data storage (CD-R) and rewritable media (CD-RW).

Compact Flash (CF) Cards:
A storage device format typically used in portable electronics that uses flash memory or a hard disk to store data. A compact flash card can store pictures from a digital camera or other device, thus freeing up the device's own internal memory storage.

mputer Connected: As applied to duplication and sanitation of hard disc drives and other store mediums, computer connected devices operate while connected to a computer.

A common term in hard drive duplication that refers to the docking station or holder that is connected to a duplicator so that data can be transferred.

A feature applied to shredders that are capable of cutting strips of into smaller pieces. Cross cutting offers a higher level of security by destroying sensitive data.

In computing, data is information that is converted into binary digital form so it can be stored, accessed, processed and transported.

Abbreviation for decibel, a unit of measure for sound pressure levels or loudness.

Digital Versatile Discs (DVD):
DVD is a digital optical disc storage format with a higher storage capacity than compact discs. Often used for video playback and data storage, DVD-ROM discs can only be read and not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs (DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once using a DVD whereas rewritable DVDs (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM) can be recorded and erased multiple times.

Refers to an optical storage media, such CD, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, or DVD video disc.

Refers to magnetic storage media, such as a hard drive disk or external hard drive disk.

c Capacity: The amount of memory a CD, DVD or Blu-ray optical disc is capable of storing.

Disc Duplicator:
A device that makes multiple copies of CD-R or DVD-R discs. There are simple units with two drives that require manual loading or automated units that can hold and copy hundreds of blank discs and print labels directly on the media.

Abbreviation for Department of Defense, a department of the United States government that governs national security.

DoD 5220/22-M seven-pass wipe:
A Department of Defense standard for hard drive drive sanitization that includes a seven-pass overwriting wipe algorithm.

Enterprise Drive:
A class of hard disk drives designed to meet the needs of high-capacity server environment. Most Enterprise-class HDDs have high-tolerance internal parts to and high-tolerance for vibration, heat, and the other server-related environmental factors.

In computing, erase means to wipe a hard drive or completely erase all of the information stored on a hard drive. Unlike deleting files where data is still accessible, to erase means all information on the hard drive is wiped clean and cannot be retrieved.

A specified IEEE 802.3standard, Ethernet is the most commonly used local area network (LAN) technology that allows computers to communicate with one another.

External Hard Drive:
A portable storage device housed in its own enclosure and outside of the computer. Often used to back up computers, external hard drives can be attached to a computer through a USB, a FireWire connection or wirelessly and typically have high storage capacities.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA):
A united States federal low established in of 2003 that allows consumers to obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

FAT16/32 (File Allocation Table for 16 and 32 bit):
The name of a computer file system architecture and a family of industry standard file systems utilizing it.

Abbreviation for Federal Communications Commission, an agency of the United States government that regulates communication by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.

For computer storage, refers to information stored on a computer hard drive that is accessible through the use of various programs.

File Copy:
For duplication, file copy refers to a software suite function that allows user to duplicate from selected files on their hard drive.

In computing and electronic systems, firmware refers to software embedded into hardware. Examples of firmware include optical drives, remote controls or a DVD player where special memory stores the computer code for the device to functions. To keep hardware compatible with new media, manufacturers will often create firmware updates.

Flash Drive:
Also referred to as thumb drives, a USB flash drive is a portable data storage device that used flash memory and an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface.

Flash Memory:
A non-volatile computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.

Format Hard Disk Drive:
The process of preparing a computer's hard disc drive for reading and writing. Formatting the drive erases all information on the disk, then tests that all sectors are reliable, checks for bad sectors and creates internal address tables that it later uses to locate information.

Form Factor:
In manufacturing, refers to the size and dimensions of a particular product.


Gigabyte: A measure of computer data storage capacity. One gigabyte equates 1000 megabytes.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act):
Also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, GLBA is a federal law that requires financial institutions to explain their information-sharing practices to customers and to safeguard sensitive data.

Hard Drive Adapter:
A plug-in device that allows SATA/SSD duplicators to work with various other storage media such as Compact Flash cards or an mSATA.

Hard Drive Docking Station:
A dock or station that allows users to connect a 2.5"or 3.5" SATA hard drive to the USB port of in order to exchange large amounts of data. Docking stations also serve as a way to quickly connecting a new hard drive for test purposes.

Hard Disk Drive Duplicator:
A stand-alone or computer-connected device designed to make to copy data stored on one hard disk drive and then transfer an exact copy of that data to one more target hard disk drives. Many hard drive duplicators also include advanced features that allow users to format their drives, compare drive contents, and sanitize used drives.

: Abbreviation for hard disk drive, or the hardware that stores information such as software and files on a computer.

HDD Bay:
A hard disk drive bay is a standard-sized space for adding hardware to a computer. HDD bays can be fixed to the inside of a case or removable.

: Hidden Protected Area or Host Protected Area, HPA is an area located at the end of a hard disk that includes diagnostic tools, backup tools, and various booting and diagnostic utilities. Normally hidden from the operating system, the HPA of a hard disk drive will often contain a preloaded operating system to store software used by theft recovery and monitoring services.

IDE Drive:
Also known as ATA, IDE sands for Integrated Drive Electronics and is an industry standard for connecting hard drives and optical drives to motherboards in a computer.

Internal Hard Drive:
The primary storage device located inside a computer system that contains software applications, the operating system and other system files.

Image Copy:
Also known as imaging, image copying of a hard disk drive copies everything on the drive into a large, single, and compressed file that can be saved onto an external hard drive.

Liquid Crystal Display.

A medium of data storage where a computer's operating system is loaded and called up to access system functions.

Abbreviation for Mega-bits per second.

Multimedia Shredder:
A document shredder that in addition to shredding paper can shred optical discs such as DVD and CDs.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
A federal agency in the United States that promotes measurement standards and conducts a wide array of scientific research.

Non-Scratch SATA connectors.

NTFS (New Technology File System):
The default file system of Windows NT family.

Office Shredder:
A stationery or portable device used to destroy sensitive materials on paper optical disc or other storage mediums.

One-pass wipe:
A hard disk drive that is sanitized with a one-wipe algorithm as opposed to multiple wipe methods. 1-pass is typically used for low security risk applications.

Disc Duplicator: A device that makes multiple copies of CD or DVD discs. There are simple units with two drives and units with up to 15 drives that require manual loading of discs. Automated units can hold and copy hundreds of blank discs and print labels directly on the media.

Sections of a hard disk drive available to an operating system. A section of a hard drive or SSD that appears to the operating system as a separate, independent drive.

Quick format:
A faster formatting option that creates a new file table on a hard disk drive rather than overwriting or erasing existing data on the hard drive.

Quick pass:
Refers to a sanitization method where a quick, single-pass wipe overwrites hard disk drive data with random characters.

The most common type of memory storage in computing, RAM stands for random access memory. This type of computer memory can be accessed at random or without having to access preceding bytes.

Read Only:
A type of storage medium that can be displayed but not copied, modified or deleted.

ead/Write Speeds: A reference to how long it takes to read something from a drive (i.e., open a file stored on the drive), and how long it takes to save something on to the drive.

Stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHs is a set of standards instituted by the European Union (EU) that regulate the use of toxic materials in products.

In computing, sanitization refers to the process of wiping a hard disk drive or solid state drive or all data. There are multiple levels of sanitization including Secure Erase, quick, 1-pass, 3-pass, 3-pass with verify, and DoD 7-pass.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): A federal law that mandates financial disclosures from corporations and sets rules to prevent accounting fraud, accounting errors and fraudulent practices.

SATA Drive:
Stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, which is the current standard technology for connecting a hard drive or SSD to a computer.

Secure Erase:
A method of sanitation classified as "purge technology." Secure Erase makes use of the hard drive's own built-in utility for purging the data completely and is classified as the US Guidelines for Media Sanitization in the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Special Publication 800-88.

Source Drive:
The hard disk drive, solid state drive, flash drive or other storage medium where data is retrieved.

Solid State Drive (SSD):
An SSD is a nonvolatile storage device that stores data on solid-state flash memory as opposed to a rotating disk as is the case with hard disk drives. With SSDs, there are no moving parts.

Stand - Alone Device:
A device and does not require a computer to operate.

Strip cutting:
A feature applied to shredders that are capable of cutting documents into strips. Strip cutting offers a lower level of security than cross cutting.

Target Drive:
The hard disk drive, solid state drive, flash drive or other storage medium to which data is recorded.

Three-pass wipe:
Refers to a sanitization method where the drive is wiped (i.e., recorded over with random data) three times.

Terabyte (TB):
A measure of computer storage capacity equal to a trillion bytes or a thousand gigabyte.

USB 3.0:
Universal Serial Bus standard for interfacing computers and electronic devices that that can transfer data at up to 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s).

USB Duplicator:
A stand-alone or computer connected device that copies the data from a source USB flash drive or USB solid state drive to multiple USB target drives.

Stands for Underwriter's Laboratory, an independent safety consulting and Certification Company that sets standards for product safety.

A method of hard disk drive sanitization where hard disk drive data is overwritten with random characters rendering the information unreadable.

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